Monday, December 3, 2012
Most Disappointing Records Of 2012
I'm not going to spend too many words on why the following records comprise this list. My feeling is the same about most of them. With the exception of Neil's "Americana," Fiona's "The Idler Wheel," and Rickie Lee's "The Devil You Know," three releases I had looked forward to but ultimately found unlistenable, the remaining records simply failed to move me or live up to the hype. I hate hype.
None of these records are terrible. Some have really fine moments and ideas. But I think that's the problem. To paraphrase, what have they done with the songs, Ma? When did simply having an idea become acceptable? Why aren't we demanding more anymore? You're either some brooding singer-songwriter mumbling through your beard over two chords or some hip gang of kids bringing your record collection to life through a series of sounds and samples. The days of combining it all---words, melody, hooks, vocals, musicianship---with brilliant success, seem to be long gone. The appearance of those gifted ones are few and far between.
The following, as far as I can tell, have appeared on many "Best Of" lists, and a few have been given heaps of praise from readers of this blog. I don't get it, just as some of you may not get what ends up on my "Best Of" list, which is coming very soon.
But, here they are, in absolutely no order, the records that left me thinking, "Really? This is great?"
Frank Ocean-Channel ORANGE
Norah Jones- Little Broken Hearts
The Shins-Port Of Morrow
The Gaslight Anthem-Handwritten
Grizzly Bear- Shields
Neil Young- Americana
Rickie Lee Jones- The Devil You Know
Fiona Apple- The Idler Wheel
And the biggest baffler of 2012:
THE ALABAMA SHAKES- BOYS AND GIRLS
Everyone says you need to see them live. I trust that they may come across better in a live setting. But, a record with such high praise shouldn't come with disclaimers.
While I put the finishing touches on my "Best 20 of 2012," feel free to submit your faves and why over at Burning Love?.